“The master says it’s a glorious thing to die for the Faith and Dad says it’s a glorious thing to die for Ireland and I wonder if there’s anyone in the world who would like us to live.”
Angela’s Ashes by Frank McCourt is a thrilling memoir that enlightens the reader with tales of his childhood in the impoverished towns of Brooklyn, New York and Limerick, Ireland. McCourt grew up during the late 1930s and 1940s and faced several conflicts such as hunger, death, his father’s alcoholism, and illness. While amongst the lower-class, he faces opposition with people in all positions of authority such as schoolmasters, priests, and family members. However this does not make Frank’s goal of rising up from poverty and leaving Ireland impossible.
Frank McCourt tells his story in an eccentric intriguing style. He mixes humor and wit with the harsh experiences of his childhood while also informing the reader of the stereotypical Irish lifestyle. The memoir is told in the present tense and written as though he is experiencing specific events that very moment. “I’m on deck the dawn we sail into New York. I’m sure I’m in a film, that it will end and lights will come up in the Lyric Cinema. . . . Rich Americans in top hats white ties and tails must be going home to bed with the gorgeous women with white teeth. The rest are going to work in warm comfortable offices and no one has a care in the world.” This gives the reader a sense of the emotions he was facing at the time and lets you picture the event taking place. He also aligns the tone of the text with his progressing age. McCourt ties in the themes of family, love, religion, and social relationships, drawing the reader into his tragic life. “My brothers are dead and my sister is dead and I wonder if they died for Ireland or the Faith. Dad says they were too young to die for anything. Mam says it was disease and starvation and him never having a job. Dad says, Och, Angela, puts on his cap and goes for a long walk”. His writing style gives the reader the opportunity to see the care for family, Church and society, dedication, tragedy of alcoholism, and the harshness of life in Ireland.
Essay 6 - "This is life..." Reading "Angela's Ashes" was very emotional. One would not believe how people lived in Ireland some years ago. And I'm sure that wasn't the only place in the world where people were struggling like that. Frank Mc Court, the oldest child who tried to take care of his brothers the best way he knew, tells the story. He didn't have an easy life. This poor child tried to do ...
Angela’s Ashes is a story of survival of the spirit and body and an unforgettable memoir of a boy searching for a childhood in a world where he is forced to take on adult responsibilities. Frank McCourt, the book’s author, narrator, and protagonist, tells his own life story from the perspective of an adolescent looking out onto the world. His early childhood consisted of his mother, Angela, struggling to feed her growing sons, paying the wages, and coping with the deaths of her young daughter. His childhood is a time of some adventure and continued deprivation. After the tragic death of his younger sister the family moved back home to Ireland. Soon enough Frank witnessed the death of his two brothers.
He faces several conflicts such as hunger, neglect, his alcoholic father, oppressive weather, poverty, starvation and harassment. However, Frank remains strong. McCourt descriptively shares his memories of searching for coal along the streets, begging for food, and the ruthless, cold nights. Frank increasingly condemns his father’s irresponsibility but worries also about the morality of his own behavior. He determines to make a success of himself in America. He portrays an independent, determined young boy who eventually found himself as the “man of the house” instead of his own father. Frank still loves his father regardless of his alcoholic habits. When his father’s attempt to earn money in England fails, Frank finds work on his own. This gives him the feeling of responsibility and lets him dream of hope for providing his family with food and clothes. Frank soon faces conflict again when his family moves in with Angela’s cousin, Laman. A sexual relationship between the two is formed which brings anger to Frank. Frank soon starts a sexual relationship of his own with one of his customers, who soon dies of consumption, leaving Frank with a broken heart. Near the end, a priest pardons Frank of all his sins. This allows Frank to leave for America with a clear conscience and to take hold of his thoughts for his potential future. At this point, Frank’s dream of leaving Ireland and overcoming poverty becomes possible. Even though he is sad of leaving his family back in Ireland, he earns enough money to move to New York and bid his farewell to Ireland. Angela’s Ashes is a beautifully written memoir. The story captures your heart and gives you an idea of the hardships faced in our past.
... fathers but for Frank McCourt having an alcoholic father causes him to grow up with the mentality of being the opposite of him. In Angela’s Ashes ... wants us to die for Ireland” (McCourt 210). Frank always found a way to have pity over his father but when he move to ...
Frank McCourt brought numerous emotions to the reader. The fast moving memoir allows you to picture the tragedies as if they were happening right before your eyes. With great detail, you can create images within your mind of the dark streets of Ireland and rough living styles. As a result of the incomparable life in the 1900s, the reader is pulled into Frank McCourt’s personal experiences, investing every emotion. His description of his life is matchless. Angela’s Ashes won the Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Critics’ Circle Award, and spent 117 weeks on The New York Times hardcover best-seller list. Angela’s Ashes serves as a living record of the strong moral values and sense of humor McCourt maintained despite the suffering and despair he suffered as a child.
“When I look back on my childhood I wonder how I survived at all.”